This month’s key notes
Reimbursement of additional costs related to Covid-19
PSNC has accepted an offer from the DHSC that allows NHS pharmacy contractors in England to claim for additional costs incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic for the provision of NHS pharmaceutical services over a 13-month period from 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.
All claims must be submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority before 15 August by completing and returning the claim form to email@example.com. The claim form provided by the NHSBSA can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2Uv6NaK
Below is a summary of what can and cannot be claimed:
Categories of additional costs related to Covid-19
|What CAN be claimed?||What CANNOT be claimed?|
|1. Additional staff costs due to Covid-19||
|2. Costs to make the pharmacy Covid-19 secure||
|3. IT and communication costs incurred to support remote working and virtual patient contact||
• Hardware costs (eg. phones, laptops, webcams)
• Software costs (eg. software licences)
|4. Closures agreed by NHS England and NHS Improvement (maximum of 14 days)||
• Notified closures for infection control purposes where all staff had to self-isolate
• Notified closures for infection control purposes of pharmacies in health centres
For full details, please see: https://bit.ly/36gfXLb
|Sunday 1 March 2020 to Wednesday 31 March 2021||13-month period for which claims may be submitted to recover Covid-19 related costs incurred|
|From Monday 5 July 2021||Claims must be made by downloading and completing a claim form on the NHSBSA website|
|Monday 5 July 2021 up to
23:59 on Sunday 15 August 2021
|Friday 1 October 2021||Pharmacy contractors will receive payment if the claim has been submitted within the submission window|
|Tuesday 1 November 2022||Appeals process open until this date|
For further information go to the NPA website: https://bit.y/36l86Mq
Pharmacy Minister backs new plan to beat Covid and rebuild NHS
The National Pharmacy Association has launched “a bold plan” for England’s community pharmacies to protect the population from Covid-19, improve access to primary care and prevent ill health.
In a message to the the NPA’s summer conference, Public Health Minister Jo Churchill MP said she is “encouraged” by the plan and wants to see community pharmacy sitting at the heart of primary care.
The plan, called How We Can Help, argues that pharmacies are well placed for a central
role in delivering booster Covid-19 vaccinations, allowing GPs to focus on clearing the care backlog in the NHS. It highlights pharmacists’ strong face-to-face relationships with patients and years of experience in delivering flu vaccines. It also covers pharmacy’s broader potential
in preventing ill health, managing long term conditions and providing access to care near to where people live, work and shop.
During the conference NPA chair, Andrew Lane, said: “We’re launching the National Pharmacy Association’s bold plan to unleash the potential of community pharmacy in England. Provided there’s sufficient ongoing support from
government and NHS, pharmacies can help get the country through the pandemic, help the NHS catch up on lost ground and be a foundation stone for better care in the future. Pharmacies have been central to the NHS response to Covid throughout, and you can be sure that the end of lockdown won’t be the end of the story of our sector’s epic contribution.”
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “I was really encouraged to read the NPA’s plan. Community pharmacy can help the nation recover from the pandemic and that includes supporting the Covid-19 and flu vaccination programme.
“As a government, we are committed to the idea of community pharmacy being the first port of call for minor illnesses and having a key role at the heart of primary care and prevention. I see community pharmacy being a central part of the integrated care system and the NPA plan sets out how that might be achieved.”
The Minister added that “we need a network of financially stable community pharmacies” to achieve those ambitions.
How We Can Help is available to view now on the NPA website. Go to: https:// bit.ly/3jNOdWd
Pharmacists in race against time for mental health charities
Staff and board members of the National Pharmacy Association raised over £5,000 for mental health charity Mind in July
by racing against the clock to visit all the NPA members in St Albans and Cardiff city centres.
They had 100 minutes to complete the route of a sponsored walk, as part of the NPA’s centenary celebrations. The events also helped raise awareness of the support pharmacies provide to people with mental health problems.
Emma Ihsan, Head of Corporate Partnerships
at Mind, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the National Pharmacy Association for choosing to mark its 100th year by raising funds to support people experiencing mental health problems in the UK.”
As part of its centenary celebrations, the NPA is raising funds for three mental health charities – Mind (England and Wales), Inspire Wellbeing (Northern Ireland) and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
If you wish to get involved with fundraising for mental health, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Ireland protocol: NPA calls for medicines deal
The NPA issued a fresh appeal to Brexit negotiators to reach an understanding that will allow manufacturers and suppliers to continue to supply medicines as normal to Northern Ireland.
NPA board representative for Northern Ireland, Michael Guerin, said: “This situation, if unresolved, will be intolerable for NPA members and patients in Northern Ireland.
“We are deeply concerned that the additional cost and complexity of getting medicines into Northern Ireland will result in some manufacturers and suppliers not bringing products to the market.”
Government moves on Covid costs
Responding to PSNC’s announcement
that it had reached a deal with HM Government about Covid costs incurred by community pharmacies, NPA chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “It shouldn’t have taken battle buses, petitions, newspaper campaigns and public protests by NPA members to get us to this point.
“We have persistently pressed the government in private and held them to account in public on this matter. We also acknowledge the many MPs who have backed us in parliament, including the All Party Pharmacy Group.
“This is no more than our members deserve – after all pharmacies bore Covid costs in good faith that they would be repaid, in the service of the nation.”
The NHS Pandemic Delivery Service for those self-isolating has been further extended
The NHS Pandemic Delivery Service commissioning has been extended until the end of September 2021 for individuals notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) announced on 29 June that the Pandemic Delivery Service will be extended until 23:59 on 30 September 2021.
Community pharmacies, excluding distance selling pharmacies, can use this service to deliver prescription medicines and appliances during their ten day self-isolation period to individuals who provide their NHS Test and Trace account ID reference when requesting for the service, if alternative arrangements cannot be made.
NHSE&I has noted that some pharmacy contractors are making claims on the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) platform for deliveries to clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients. These may have been made in error for self-isolating patients where the claim has been entered incorrectly on the MYS Pandemic Delivery Service claim form.
Please note: the Pandemic Delivery Service can no longer be used to deliver prescription items for CEV patients – the provision for CEV patients ended on 31 March, and any claims made on NHSBSA MYS platform for deliveries to CEV patients from July onwards will not be processed.
Key points for pharmacy teams:
o Individual is within the ten day self-isolation period. The patient is still eligible for the delivery service against their initial Test and Trace account ID reference if they are asymptomatic at the start of the ten day self-isolation period but require to self-isolate for longer (up to 20 days) because they develop symptoms or are deemed as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace.
o Individuals must provide their unique eight character NHS Test and Trace account ID reference.
o Based on the gov.uk guidance on staying at home, the maximum duration an individual could be self-isolating is 20 days. It is unlikely for Covid-19 symptoms to develop on the tenth day of the self-isolating period.
o An individual identified as a close contact will receive their first unique account ID. If the individual then tests positive for Covid-19, they would be issued with another ID.
NPA’s Foundation Training programme is open for enrolment
NPA’s Foundation Training programme that commences in September for the 2021/2022 cohort of trainee pharmacists is now open for enrolment.
Although the student pass rate for the NPA’s 2019/2020 cohort exceeded the national pass rate of 88 per cent recently published by the GPhC, the NPA continues to look at ways it can enhance its training to support trainee pharmacists and develop them into confident and competent pharmacists.
NEW for 2021/22
The following new elements are now incorporated in the programme, which
will provide your trainee pharmacist with additional practical skills and knowledge on completion. These are included within the course fee:
Bespoke CPCS training workshop with the RPS and RCGP
This session is designed to teach students
all the relevant skills required to perform clinical consultations including examinations, identifying red flags, promoting self-care and completing accurate clinical records.
Medicines counter assistant’s course
Trainees will be eligible to enrol onto the NPA’s Level 2 Medicines counter assistant’s eLearning course. This fully accredited course provides essential knowledge required to sell medicines over the counter and provide appropriate healthcare advice.
Full Flu/Covid practical vaccination training
Your student will be able to undertake full practical training for Flu and Covid vaccinations. This includes a face-to-face session (3.5 hours) and online training. This will be arranged via our partners, ECG Training – details of what is covered in the sessions are available at https://www.npa.co.uk/training/ training-a-z/pgd-packages-and-training
Key features of the NPA’s programme – tried and tested
The following are just a few of the key features of the NPA’s Foundation training programme:
• As a result of feedback from the 2020/21 cohort, the NPA will continue to deliver the London study days on Sundays and will be reintroducing three face-to-face study days at each location (London, Birmingham and Manchester)
• The NPA’s blended approach to learning includes ten study days – a mix of face-to- face, virtual and webinar accommodates all styles of studying and provides an engaging learning experience.
• Included within the programme fee, the whole day mock exam incorporates full online Part 1 and Part 2 exams with access to the answers and the rationale behind the answers, as well as support from the NPA’s L&D tutors. Read more on our Mock Exam page
• Pricing remains unchanged from 2020, even though new elements (as above) have been added. While we save slightly on venue costs (due to fewer face-to-face study days), creating the virtual study day content on the NPA Learning Academy requires extra resource.
If you wish to enrol a trainee on the programme, go to the dedicated page to xaccess more details - www.npa.co.uk/training/foundation
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services by email: training@npa. co.uk or by telephone on 01727 800402.
Managing employees with Long Covid
Long Covid occurs when people suffer from symptoms for weeks or months after the initial infection has gone. There is a range of common symptoms, including extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness and problems with memory and concentration.
Impact on employee absence and performance
With a range of symptoms, it’s clear that if one of your employees is suffering from long Covid, this may result in absence from work. This could be a series of shorter- term, intermittent absences or a more long-term period of absence. In addition, the symptoms could impact employee performance.
Payment for long Covid sickness absence should be dealt with in line with your normal policies and procedures. When it comes to managing performance and/or levels of attendance, you should be more cautious and consider reasonable adjustments to avoid potential disability discrimination.
Any employee whose performance concerns and/or absence
reasons are linked to any underlying medical condition
may be protected by disability discrimination law under the Equality Act 2010.
Under Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010, there are four stages that need to be met for a condition to amount to a disability:
1. Does the employee suffer with a recognised physical or mental medical impairment?
2. Has that impairment lasted more than 12 months or is it likely to do so?
3. Does the impairment affect their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities?
4. Is the impairment substantial? Note that this is a relatively low
bar as the effect only has to be more than minor or trivial.
For the full article go to: https://bit.ly/3yx60oF - if you would like support managing employment issues linked to long Covid, you can contact the NPA Employment Advisory Service on 0330 123 0558 or by email to email@example.com
NPA Insurance introduces new key insurance as inclusive member benefit
As part of its ongoing commitment to protect and support community pharmacy, NPA Insurance (NPAI) has introduced a new key insurance offering, PharmaKey, as an inclusive benefit to its members.
The new insurance policy, which covers business premises’ locks and lost keys, is underwritten by NPAI. Processing and fulfilment of key replacement claims is handled by specialist service provider CPP Group UK.
On renewal, members are provided with two branded, durable fobs that can be attached to keys, as well as a reward-incentivised repatriation service and insurance cover to pay for a 24/7 locksmith.
Any claims will be carried out by fully qualified mobile locksmiths from CPP’s UK-wide, 24-hour network, and claims support likewise from CPP’s UK operations centre.
Paul Coleman, Managing Director at NPAI, explains: “We are always looking for ways to support our members and to help them manage their risk. CPP has created a first class proposition specifically for our pharmacists, enabling them to get back up and running securely and to continue to provide their customers with critical healthcare services.”
Carl Carter, CEO of CPP Group UK, adds: “Pharmacies are a local lifeline for many, and the fact that they are at the forefront of providing healthcare in their communities demonstrates just how critical they are to the nation’s health. These businesses are looking now more than ever to maximise their operational efficiency and minimise unnecessary stress – our 24/7 reliable claims support can help to provide that extra layer of reassurance.”